Technology is putting humanitarianism on steroids. In the video below, digital humanitarians show how e-Nable, a global community of individuals who are using their 3D printers to create free 3D-printed hands and arms for those in need, is transforming the humanitarian community. Dr. Jon Schull, a professor at the University of Rochester and founder of e-Nable, reveals how technology and crowdsourcing have allowed his organization to match those with 3D printers to those with missing limbs.
“I made a Google map mashup where people could just add pins with their names on them,” Dr. Schull explains. “And that was enough to propose or pretend that people would start signing up, self-organizing, and mass-fabricating free prosthetics for each other. And, unusually enough, it actually started to happen.”
“It’s transformed these kids from some wondering whether they mattered at all to planning to be engineers,” says Maria Esquela, whose Scout troop is working on the project.
The 3D hand has dramatically increased the quality of life for countless people in need, but it is also a metaphor for something greater: a new era of humanitarianism, which is based on technology, entrepreneurship, crowdsourcing – not government intervention.